Caitriona Balfe has told how becoming one of Ireland’s best known international models didn’t help one bit when looking to get into TV. The Monaghan native has recently bagged a massive role on Outlander, which is tipped to quickly become the new Game of Thrones.
But the 34-year-old had to fight to get to that stage of her career – despite being the only Irish woman to ever walk for Victoria Secret’s. And Caitriona admits that initially directors were so suspicious of her career move that they wouldn’t ever let her speak.
She said: “They’d say, ‘She’s great, but don’t let her open her mouth.’ I would have been a huge silent movie star in the 1920s. “But I came from one career and moved to LA, affectionately starting from ground again. I had no experience and no-one cared about the modelling. “They don’t really care what you’ve done before so you have to be humble and take whatever you can get.”
And Caitriona admits that nervousness rubbed off on her, leaving her fretting that fans of the Outlander book series would go crazy about her casting in the show. “I didn’t realise how many books had been sold and how die-hard people were about it,” she told the Sunday World.
“Had I known that going into my first audition, I could have very easily messed it up as I would have felt massively overwhelmed. “And when I got the part, I was nervous because I didn’t want people to be like, ‘Who the hell is she? She hasn’t done anything before this’. With Twitter and social media, people can really voice their opinions.”
TV star Caitriona Balfe has vowed she will never go back to modelling full time – after the cruel reality of the catwalk. The Monaghan actress is the only Irish model to have ever walked for Victoria’s Secret, after first being spotted by Assets.But the 34-year-old – who enjoyed eight years on the catwalk – is glad to not have a depressing career based “entirely” on her looks and feels she could be too old to go back.
She said: “A career based entirely on your looks, when designers and agents make very snap judgements, can be really crushing. “It’s a weird thing to be dismissed because of aesthetic. It can be quite cruel.
“I remember I used to work with a certain photographer who, because my teeth weren’t perfectly straight, loved telling me in front of clients: ‘Oh my God, I have to give you the number of a dentist to get your teeth fixed’.
“And I’m staring at his really Botoxed face, completely mangled, thinking: ‘Well, I don’t want to end up looking like you’. Eventually I told him to take a hike.”
And Outlander actress Caitriona told the Sunday World that models’ weight can be “one of the more unpleasant sides of fashion”. She added: “It was never something I had to worry about, but there were girls who weren’t stick-thin who battled with that because the designers wanted us to all be stick-thin”.
From the Herald:
"I've pre-warned my parents that there are a couple of scenes where they can go out and make a cup of tea, but they will enjoy watching it," said the Monaghan star. [...]
But Caitriona (35) revealed how she was scouted when she was packing bags.
"At the end of my first college year, I was packing bags in a supermarket for charity and I was scouted as a model," she said. "I went bright red, being very shy, but I remember the girls on the tills getting excited, shouting, "Yer one is only after being asked to be a model" all over the shop. That's where it all began."
Caitriona said that she created "life lists" while living in a dingy apartment on the South Circular Road with her pal while studying in DIT.
"Sometimes we would wake up in the middle of the night and make tea and toast, and write these life lists. Where will you be in five years? Where will you be in 10 years? I still have the notebooks. I remember saying I wanted to be an actor, but I wouldn't have imagined my life would be so chaotic. I think I've surpassed my own ambitions."
whole piece at the source